Climate & Energy

Our world is warming, with dire consequences to the American West’s communities, lands, rivers, and wildlife.

Federal Agency Fails to Protect Water and Air Quality from Massive Coal Mine Expansion (Press Release 8/17/15)

8/17/2015
Conservation Groups Forced to take legal action

Today, Montana conservation groups were forced to take legal action to protect water and air quality from a massive expansion at the Bull Mountains coal mine near Roundup. Earlier this year the federal government approved a 100-million-ton expansion at the mine, setting it up to become the largest underground coal mine in the country, with only cursory environmental review. Expansion of the mine will increase air and water pollution, threaten the livelihood of nearby ranchers, and exacerbate climate change.

Life around New Mexico's gas wells: how fracking is turning the air foul (The Guardian 8/14/15)

8/14/2015
Leaked methane and other toxic gases are polluting the air with serious health risks for local communities whose fortunes depend on oil and gas in the shale boom state

“My daughter has asthma. She is not the only one around here, something is wrong here, our air quality shouldn’t be this way.”

Shirley “Sug” McNall is leaning up against a fence staring at a natural gas well about 40 meters from a playground behind the primary school where her daughter used to teach in Aztec, New Mexico. She believes that the gas industry and the explosion of fracking in her state is responsible for serious impacts on local air quality which are affecting people’s health.

Inslee: I’ll use my authority to impose cap on emissions (Seattle Times 7/28/15)

7/28/2015
After being stymied on climate policy in the Legislature, Gov. Jay Inslee announced he’s pressing ahead with executive action to impose a cap on carbon emissions.

Frustrated by legislative inaction on climate, Gov. Jay Inslee plans to wield his administration’s executive authority to impose a binding cap on carbon emissions in Washington state.

Gov. Inslee Directs The Washington Department Of Ecology To Take Serious Action On Climate Change (Press Release 7/28/15)

7/28/2015
Gov. Sides With Youth Standing Up For Their Right To A Healthy Future

Today, Gov. Jay Inslee directed the Washington Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) to take serious action on climate change. Inslee said Washingtonians have too much at stake to wait any longer for legislative action, and directed Ecology to step up enforcement of existing state pollution laws and to develop a regulatory cap on carbon emissions.

Courtroom slugfest nears as drilling creeps toward ancient Chaco world (E&E News 7/13/15)

7/13/2015

Kyle Tisdel and Samantha Ruscavage-Barz sift through rocks beside a dusty road in New Mexico's high desert, searching for remnants of life a thousand years past.

With the nearest meager town of Cuba an hour away, they're off the beaten path by any standard. But to them, these dirt roads surrounding Chaco Canyon are the front lines of a monumental battle pitting ancient Pueblo culture against the modern world's thirst for oil.

Drilling dims the star-bright night sky above N.M.'s shale frontier (E&E News 7/21/15)

7/21/2015

CHACO CANYON, N.M. -- It's 7:45 a.m. on a sunny June morning and a line is already forming outside the visitor center at Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The sign-up list for a moonlit walk through the park's most prized Pueblo ruins has only 30 spots, and the lights in the sky are promising a show tonight.

Later, as the sun sets over the West Mesa and the moon rises over the ancient walls of Pueblo Bonito, park ranger G.B. Cornucopia fixes his gaze on the Western sky.

Shocker Court Ruling: Cut Carbon Emissions to Save Humanity From Climate Change (News 7/23/15)

7/23/2015

What if the public, alarmed about government’s failure to do enough, fast enough, to stop climate change while there’s still time, could sue?

Nine hundred Dutch citizens have done just that—and won. The historic recent decision, rendered in June, is already inspiring lawsuits in other countries.

Meanwhile, in Washington State, a group of kids have won a case against the Department of Ecology, forcing it to “consider the undisputed current science necessary for climate recovery.”

Teaching old laws new tricks on climate front (Eugene Register-Guard 7/23/15)

7/23/2015

What responsibility do governments have to prevent runaway climate disruption? Do federal, state and local governments have a legal obligation to protect their citizens from harm by cutting greenhouse gas emissions? A number of recent court decisions suggest the answer is yes.

Youth activists meet with Gov. Inslee over emissions lawsuit (Seattle Times 7/20/15)

7/20/2015
Inslee met with youths who are suing the state to crack down on carbon emissions.

Gov. Jay Inslee met with five young climate activists and their attorney who are waging a legal battle to force the state Department of Ecology to crack down on carbon emissions.

The Friday meeting with the youths — aged 11 to 15 — was initially scheduled to last 20 minutes but ran for 90, according to Andrea Rodgers, a Western Environmental Law Center attorney who represents the young people .

Governor Inslee Hosts Washington Youth Petitioners To Discuss Their Climate Case Against The Department of Ecology (Press Release 7/20/15)

7/20/2015

On Friday, five young petitioners and their attorney arrived at Gov. Inslee’s office, but before entering the building they were met by a security guard who told them “sorry, but kids aren’t allowed in this building.” For these petitioners, the guard’s words came as no surprise.

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